Moisture is a death sentence for pollen viability. Because of this, many breeders opt to mix flour into their pollen at a ratio of 4:1 (flour to pollen) when storing it long-term. This additional step will help keep pollen dry for a longer period of time.
Fortunately, preserving genetics for long-term storage is easy and will save time, money, and space in the long run. Through seed and pollen collection, you can hang onto those genetics that you can’t fully get rid of and safely store them for future use.
Out in the open, pollen may be viable for one or two weeks under normal conditions. However, when frozen and sealed, it can last up to a year and even longer. Pollen is more unstable than seed and even under the most optimal conditions, it isn’t expected to have as long of a shelf life.
When collecting seed by hand, use a fine screen to help catch trichomes that will break off during the process. This material is valuable and it would be a shame to waste.
Cannabis is for the most part dioecious, meaning that the male and female reproductive organs exist on two separate plants (although hermaphroditic plants do occur). It is also a wind-pollinated plant, so pollen must be transferred from a male stamen to a female pistil via the air in order for pollination to occur and seeds to form.
The Benefits of Long-Term Storage
Separate or sift seeds over the screen to remove any unwanted plant matter from the seeds themselves. Brush off the seeds—they should be completely free of any remaining plant material such as leaves, stem, or trichomes, as these elements put seeds at a higher risk for contamination and spoilage during long-term storage.
For both seeds and pollen that have been frozen long-term, it’s important to avoid defrosting until they are ready to be used. Fluctuations in temperature and moisture content will quickly destroy their viability, so maintain a steady temperature for as long as possible. Warming and freezing multiple times isn’t good.
Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium, such as soil.
A seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears. The sprout is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination.
If growing outside, some growers prefer to germinate seeds inside because they are delicate in the beginning stages of growth. Indoors, you can give weed seedlings supplemental light to help them along, and then transplant them outside when big enough.
Another drawback to clones is they can take on negative traits from the mother plant as well. If the mother has a disease, attracts pests, or grows weak branches, its clones will probably have the same issues.
Remember, once a seed germinates, the real work begins. Sexing, selecting, vegetative growth, flowering, and the eventual harvest all lie ahead.
Because only female cannabis plants produce buds and you want them to focus all their energy on producing buds and not seeds, it’s important to identify and get rid of male weed plants so they don’t pollinate females. If females are pollinated, it will give you buds filled with seeds, making your weed harsh and unpleasant.
Marijuana seeds can be acquired from an array of sources and can vary in quality. For more info on how to buy marijuana seeds, check out our Guide to buying cannabis seeds.
Taking these preventive actions to minimize contamination from weed seed will help ensure the hard work you’ve put into this season pays off, and will help prevent weeds from growing on your farm in the future.
Weed scientists are recommending a zero tolerance for weed escapes. Ridding fields of weed presence not only benefits your yield potential, but also lowers the chance of future seeds getting added to the seed bank. Incorporating a burndown harvest aid like Gramoxone ® SL 2.0 herbicide helps target difficult-to-control weeds and keeps the combine running smoothly.
Keeping your corn and soybean fields free of unwanted weed seed is an important task, as seeds in your harvest can lead to dockage at elevators. You’ve worked hard this season to keep your fields free of unwanted weeds, especially during a year where weed escapes might be more prevalent because of weather challenges. To get every possible bushel out of your acres, you’ll need to be extra vigilant about what goes into the combine this season.
If you do see weeds in your fields at harvest, consider some of these harvesting tips outlined by the United States Department of Agriculture:
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To learn more about managing weeds while preventing resistance development, visit ResistanceFighter.com.
Before taking your crops to the elevator, consider these additional precautions: